JPMorgan Focuses on Investment Bank Growth

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JPMorgan plans to spend $1 billion during 2007 to expand its investment bank and bring on energy traders in Europe and Asia. Steven Black, co-head of investment banking, told the firm's annual investor presentation that some of the money will be obtained by moving jobs to less-expensive locations.

Bloomberg quotes JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon as saying, "We've just started to become a highly efficient company" that has "the ability to execute." Dimon said his focus on cist-cutting since 2004 will enable to bank to ride out any pressures from rising losses in business and consumer lending and the impact of any recession, should

While Dimon also said JPMorgan will rely on "organic growth" going forward, Black said the firm remains interested in "niche" acquisitions for the investment bank in growing markets, and named Russia and Brazil as examples. Although the investment-banking unit's revenue rose 25 percent - to $18.3 billion - in 2006, the firm "clearly (isn't) where we want to be in an environment as robust as this one,'' Black told the conference.

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